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Department of Health News

Buncombe County and YMCA Partner to Address Prediabetes


Buncombe County Health and Human Services- Community Health is collaborating with the YMCA of Western North Carolina to implement the North Carolina Diabetes Prevention Program, a state-funded grant program with a mission to reduce prediabetes rates, particularly within Black and Latinx populations in NC’s Public Health Region 2.    

Prediabetes is a condition where people have higher than normal blood glucose levels (mg/dl), but their levels are not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Nationally, an estimated 86 million American adults have prediabetes, but only about 11% of them know it. African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders are at higher risk than non-Hispanic whites for developing type 2 diabetes (CDC, Diabetes Report 2014). 

Recently, Buncombe County HHS and the YMCA of WNC, in partnership with Emory University’s Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center (DTTAC), hosted a Lifestyle Coach training to prepare staff to deliver the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program. 

A total of 17 new coaches completed the two-day training, including representatives from the YMCA, Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA – an MDPP community engagement partner) and MAHEC Population Health, as well as from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians DHHSS: Cherokee Choices and Tsalagi Public Health (both in Region 1). 

The North Carolina Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long, evidenced-based group program that promotes healthy lifestyle changes to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle Coaches are prepared to deliver the curriculum to adults (18 years+) with prediabetes.

DTTAC Lifestyle Coach Training is a highly interactive, two-day, in-person training that gives coaches a full understanding of their role in the lifestyle change program, and allows them to practice their skills in program delivery and receive feedback. Proper training ensures that the critical elements of this evidence-based program are delivered appropriately, so that participants learn the skills they need to adopt life-long habits and prevent or delay type-2 diabetes.

Anyone interested in learning more about or participating in Region 2’s MDPP programming can call the YMCA of WNC at (828) 251-5910.